Ahsoka showrunner Dave Filoni explains why Lars Mikkelsen had to play Grand Admiral Thrawn in the live-action Star Wars series.
Grand Admiral Thrawn has captured the imagination of Star Wars fans since his introduction in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire trilogy over thirty years ago. Even when Disney declared that much of the Star Wars Extended Universe was non-canon, Thrawn survived and went on to be featured in Star Wars: Rebels where he was voiced by Lars Mikkelsen. As we know, Thrawn now set to make the leap to live-action in Ahsoka.
While speaking with Entertainment Tonight in a newly released interview from Star Wars Celebration in April, Ahsoka showrunner Dave Filoni said that Lars Mikkelsen was really the only choice to play Thrawn.
“It was a very considered decision… It was a very big challenge to cast the voice,” Filoni said. “You know, how do you find a voice for a character that everybody who has read it, pictured it probably in a different, unique way? Eventually, that led me to Lars, and we were all very happy with his performance in Rebels. [Jon Favreau said] ‘It’s going to be very hard to beat Lars.’ Because Lars is in my head. The sound of his voice is kind of what I write to.“
When it came time to cast the live-action Thrawn, Filoni entertained other options but just kept coming back to Lars Mikkelsen. Jon Favreau agreed, and the decision was made. “I couldn’t be happier,” Filoni said. “He looks wonderful in blue. Not everybody does, so that’s a factor and we worked on the eyes so…it’s a unique thing to bring this character to life.“
What works in voice acting doesn’t always translate to live-action, so Lars Mikkelsen has previously said that he did have to make a few changes to his iconic Thrawn voice. “I’m not losing the voice, but I am tweaking it into live-action,” Mikkelsen explained. “When you do an animated character, there’s a whole melodious approach. When you’re there as a real person, that would be just slightly too much.“
Given how the last episode of Ahsoka ended, there’s a good chance we may finally get to see Thrawn make his live-action debut next week. The first five episodes of Ahsoka are now streaming on Disney+, so be sure to check out a review from our own Alex Maidy right here.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/ahsoka-thrawn-lars-mikkelsen-live-action/